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New bombing marks Iraq anniversary

A car bomb has killed two civilians and wounded four more in eastern Baghdad on the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, the day after a series of co-ordinated attacks left scores dead, officials said.

A parked car exploded during rush hour in the eastern Zayona neighbourhood, police officials said. A medical official in a nearby hospital confirmed the casualty figures.

The attack followed a bloody day in Baghdad when insurgents set off a wave of car bombs and other explosions that killed at least 65.

There were almost 20 attacks on Tuesday, mostly in and around the capital, demonstrating how dangerously divided Iraq remains more than a year after American troops withdrew. More than 240 people were wounded.

It was Iraq's bloodiest day since September 9 when an onslaught of bombings and shootings killed 92. Violence has ebbed sharply since the peak of Sunni-Shia fighting that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007.

But insurgents are still able to stage high-profile attacks, while sectarian and ethnic rivalries continue to tear at the fabric of national unity.

The symbolism of the attacks was strong, coming 10 years to the day that president George Bush announced the start of hostilities against Iraq. Airstrikes began early on March 20 2003 in Iraq.

The military action quickly ousted Saddam Hussein but led to years of bloodshed as Sunni and Shia militants fought US forces and each other, leaving nearly 4,500 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis dead.

The apparently co-ordinated attacks around the country included car bombs and explosives stuck to the underside of vehicles. They targeted government security forces and mainly Shia areas.

An al Qaida-affiliated group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attacks which killed dozens of people across Iraq. In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq said the bombings were in revenge for the executions and "massacres" of convicted Sunni inmates held in Iraqi prisons, and warned of "seas of blood" to follow.


From Belfast Telegraph